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MRes Oncology at The University of Manchester
MRes Oncology
Gain the skills you need to pursue a research career in medical and clinical oncology.

MRes Oncology

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Research
Duration
12 months full-time
Entry requirements

We require an undergraduate honours degree (Upper Second or above), or the overseas equivalent , in medicine or biomedical sciences. Relevant experience and commitment to oncology research will be beneficial.

For intercalating medical students (after Year 3 or 4), we require satisfactory achievement in Years 1 to 3 or 4 of the undergraduate MBChB course, with no failure at any examination in the past two academic years.

For University of St Andrews students, this includes the three-year degree and the following two years spent in Manchester (Years 3 and 4 of the Manchester course).

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

20 places

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form , following any instructions for completion carefully. See the Advice to applicants section for details of the supporting documents we require with your form.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. The formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MRes Y N N N

Course overview

  • Develop skills for a career in cancer research on one of only a handful of MRes Oncology courses available in the UK.
  • Understand the scientific basis of cancer and its treatments and how to evaluate the potential effectiveness of new treatments.
  • Gain hands-on research experience, use the latest research equipment, publish your work, and attend national and international conferences.
  • Draw on expertise at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Manchester Institute and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Study at a university ranked 9th in the UK and among the top 50 in the world for medicine (QS World University Rankings 2017).

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MRes (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £11,000
    International students (per annum): £23,500

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for international students for the course duration at the year of entry).

For general fees information please visit postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees or provide a sponsor letter (which we must first confirm), before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Scholarships/sponsorships

It is expected there will be ten £2,500 MCRC bursaries available for MBChB (Medicine) intercalating students. These will be awarded to the ten best students selected from the interview process.

Contact details

Academic department
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5220
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/medicine/
Academic department overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an undergraduate honours degree (Upper Second or above), or the overseas equivalent , in medicine or biomedical sciences. Relevant experience and commitment to oncology research will be beneficial.

For intercalating medical students (after Year 3 or 4), we require satisfactory achievement in Years 1 to 3 or 4 of the undergraduate MBChB course, with no failure at any examination in the past two academic years.

For University of St Andrews students, this includes the three-year degree and the following two years spent in Manchester (Years 3 and 4 of the Manchester course).

English language

Most international students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof from applicants from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS - minimum 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing
  • TOEFL: 90 internet-based (with 20 in writing)

We may also accept evidence of a confirmed place on a University Pre-sessional English language course , if your current IELTS scores are:

  • Minimum 6.0 overall with 6.0 in writing plus enrolment and attendance on the 5-week pre-sessional course (PS5)
  • Minimum 5.5 overall with 5.5 in writing plus enrolment and attendance on the 10-week pre-sessional course (PS10)
We must approve this before you apply for the English course.

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form , following any instructions for completion carefully. See the Advice to applicants section for details of the supporting documents we require with your form.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. The formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

We do not require applicants to have already developed their own research proposals.

Your application form must have the following documents.

  • Two academic references on letter headed paper or sent from work emails. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than 3 years. We do not contact referees directly.
  • Official degree certificates (with translations if not in English) if you have already graduated.
  • Official University transcripts (with translations if not in English).
  • A personal statement. This should be no longer than a page in length and include why you want to undertake this course, any relevant past experience and what you can bring to the course, how this course fits into your future career plans, and any other relevant information.
  • Full CV including voluntary experience.
  • A scanned copy of your passport if you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.
  • If English is not your first language, we require proof of your English language ability. If you have already taken an English language qualification, please include your certificate with your application. We may be willing to consider your application without this document, but if we choose to make you an offer, the conditions will include IELTS (or equivalent qualification).

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or if this is not possible, emailed to pgtaught.medicine@manchester.ac.uk . We are unable to consider your application until we have received all of the documents listed above.

You must include your University ID number on any correspondence.

How your application is considered

Entry onto the MRes in Oncology course will involve attendance (either in person or via telephone/Skype) at an interview.

For intercalating students, academic recommendation by the Hospital Dean will also be required along with approval by the University.

Further details for students registered on Manchester's MBChB regarding the procedure for intercalation can be found on the Medlea website under the Programme Contents sub-heading.

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

You should also be able to demonstrate the ability to communicate and work as part of a team.

Interview requirements

The interview assessment consists of a five minute talk based around a single journal paper on a topic of oncology research.

The paper will be chosen by the Programme Directors and sent to you prior to the interview. There will also be questions following the talk.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

CAS information

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until - which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course. This means that if you intend to begin a course on 19 September 2018, we will not issue you with a CAS number before 19 June 2018.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Deferrals are considered on an individual basis. Successful applicants may defer entry to the course for up to one year.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful, you may apply again.

Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved.

We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Our MRes Oncology course will enable you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to prepare for a career in cancer research.

Cancer is a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Approximately 300,000 people develop the disease each year in the UK.

Understanding the basis of tumourigenesis and developing new therapies are high priority areas for investment, especially since the economic burden of cancer is increasing. The field of oncology encompasses a wide variety of biological and physical sciences.

You will learn from renowned basic, translational and clinical scientists at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Manchester Institute and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, with a focus on developing practical research skills.

Our course covers the clinical and research aspects of cancer care, and you will have access to an exceptionally wide range of research projects in basic cancer biology, translational areas and clinical cancer care and imaging.

This MRes has both taught and research components and is suitable for those with little or no previous research experience.

Aims

Our MRes course aims to provide postgraduate level training that will equip you with the specialist knowledge and research skills to pursue a research career in the fields of medical and clinical oncology.

You will gain an understanding of the scientific basis of cancer and its treatments, as well as the skills needed to evaluate the potential efficacy of new treatments.

This course also offers the potential to:

  • gain hands-on research experience;
  • work with world-renowned experts;
  • use state-of-the-art research equipment;
  • publish your work and attend national and international conferences;
  • be taught by speakers at the forefront of national and international cancer research;
  • undertake laboratory or clinical-based research projects at the Christie Hospital site, the largest cancer centre in Europe with some of the UK's leading cancer researchers;
  • enhance your research skills and gain confidence in your research abilities.

Special features

Clinical and research components

This is one of only a handful of MRes Oncology courses in the UK. Unlike many other oncology courses, ours has both clinical and research elements, making it suitable for both medical undergraduates and graduates, as well as biomedical science graduates.

Teaching and learning

Our MRes is structured around a 2:1 split between laboratory/clinical-based research projects and taught elements.

Laboratory and clinical research experience is gained through two research placements, one lasting approximately ten weeks (October to December) and the second lasting approximately 25 weeks (January to August).

You may choose to carry out one project for both placements, which most students do, or separate projects for each placement.

Most research placements are based at the Christie site, either within the hospital, the Manchester Cancer Research Centre or CRUK Manchester Institute premises. Projects are also available on the Central Manchester University Hospitals and University Hospital of South Manchester sites.

A list of available projects will be provided to offer holders in August.

Coursework and assessment

Students are assessed through oral presentations, single best answer exams, written reports and a dissertation.

Course unit details

The course features the following components:

  • Research Methods course unit - 15 credits
  • Clinical Masterclass course unit - 15 credits
  • Lecture Series course unit - 15 credits
  • Tutorial course unit - 15 credits
  • Two research placements (1 x 10 week - 30 credits; 1 x 25 week - 90 credits)

The  Research Methods  course unit covers topics relating to:

  • Critical analysis of scientific/medical research and literature
  • Information management
  • Study design
  • Basic statistical analysis
  • Ethics, fraud, plagiarism and medical and academic misconduct
  • Presentation skills
  • Scientific writing and publishing skills

The  Clinical Masterclass  course unit provides a truly multidisciplinary foundation in the key issues in oncology. Delivery is by lectures and site tours and these classes will offer the student the chance to debate with internationally recognised experts in their field. Areas covered include: 

  • Cancer epidemiology, screening and prevention
  • Diagnosis
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Surgery

Following attendance at these classes, you will be able to understand how cancer is diagnosed and the principles of cancer surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The  Lecture Series  course unit comprises two intensive one-week courses, one in November and the other in February. The November course covers the biological basis of chemotherapy, pharmacology and cancer biology. The February course covers the biological basis of radiotherapy and translational aspects of cancer research, including biomarkers and new technologies.

The  Tutorial  course unit allows students to choose from a selection of clinical and academic oncology topics. The unit aims to improve ability to interpret and criticise literature as well as improve verbal communication skills in a small group setting. 

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Clinical Masterclass MEDN66611 15 Mandatory
Lecture Series MEDN66620 15 Mandatory
Research Project 1 MEDN66640 30 Mandatory

Course collaborators

Our MRes has been developed and structured in close collaboration with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester Cancer Research Centre .

Facilities

Teaching will take place in the following locations (utilising state-of-the-art facilities), all in close proximity to each other:

  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Withington;
  • The Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, Withington.

The clinical and academic experience of contributors to this course will provide you with an exceptional teaching and learning experience.

The majority of these contributors are based predominantly at the above sites, but also elsewhere within the University and our teaching hospitals (ie Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust).

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

Careers

Career opportunities

Our MRes is ideal for high calibre graduates, students and professionals wishing to undertake directly channelled research training in the clinical and medical oncology field.

If you are a medical student, the MRes will help you to decide whether to pursue a medical career in oncology or in clinical academia.

For biomedical science graduates, the MRes offers the research experience increasingly needed for successful application to a PhD programme in cancer research.

Our previous students have used the knowledge gained from the course to pursue careers in academia, the pharmaceutical industry, clinical trials management and medicine.